Home > Events > Plant Sciences Program seminar - Dr. Brande Wulff

Plant Sciences Program seminar - Dr. Brande Wulff

1/31/2018 2:00 PM - 1/31/2018 3:00 PM
Modern agriculture depends increasingly on large-scale, genetically uniform cropping systems requiring intensive use of chemicals to control pathogens. The wild ancestors of our domesticated crops, however, contain genetically diverse resistance (R) genes. Deploying these genes in crops represents an underexploited and environmentally benign disease control option. Cross breeding R genes from wild relatives into crops takes many years, is hampered by the co-introduction of linked and undesirable traits, and single R genes often break down when deployed over a large area. The pyramiding of multiple, cloned R genes would prevent linkage drag and provide a more durable control option by delaying the evolution of resistance-breaking strains of the pathogen. In my presentation, I will describe a series of enabling technologies and how we are using these to accelerate the discovery and cloning of disease resistance genes from laboratory-generated and natural populations of wheat and wild wheat, and our plans for deploying cloned R genes in elite wheat varieties.

Brande’s research program explores the genetics of disease resistance in wheat. This research has led to developing fast, new and efficient methods for gene discovery and cloning which use mutant and natural populations followed by sequence alignment to locate genes, a technique which could be applied to a range of crop plants. Brande has also developed a method for halving the generation time of wheat and other crops, in a controlled environment, dramatically speeding up capabilities for research and breeding purposes.